Legal-Ease: Married, with property

Married people may be surprised to find out that when selling property their spouses must sign the deeds, even if the spouse’s name was never on the property. This is required as part of “dower” law. Dower is a collection of rights possessed by a married person.

Dower’s purpose is sometimes explained through two sexist, historical situations. First, historically women couldn’t own property, so when a couple married, all property belonged to the husband. Second, in the past some men didn’t want their wives to inherit property from them. Today, dower applies to all married people in Ohio. 

Legal-Ease: Leaves, trees and branches

Every fall we can look forward to raking leaves, and often you might find that once you’ve finished cleaning up your own leaves, a neighbor’s leaves have blown into your yard. While some communities may have rules on leaf collection, most leaf and tree law is governed by Ohio law. 

Generally, leaves, acorns, small twigs and other items that naturally fall from trees do not need to be raked or removed. If the items blow over to a neighbor’s house, the neighbor may not force the tree owner to remove the leaves. 

What may cause issues, though, is if a tree falls on a neighbor’s property. Ohio has a handful of laws that sort out liability when a tree causes damage to a neighbor’s property. 

Legal-Ease: Valuing components of co-owned property

Sometimes we can find ourselves co-owning property with one or more co-owners wanting to be bought out. Even if we are in the process of converting ownership of the co-owned property into assets owned by an LLC, it becomes important to value the property and each person’s portion.

Legal-Ease: Co-owning and separating real estate

A “partition” is the specific type of lawsuit designed for splitting up co-owned real estate. But you can avoid this lawsuit by managing co-ownership with a few other options. Creating an LLC, a limited liability company, may not seem like it has much to do with real estate but it will help establish guidelines for multiple owners. A shared ownership agreement can also be used to manage conflict.

Legal-Ease: do I need a survey?

Transferring ownership of land can be time consuming, costly and complicated. While surveying in the early days of our country was done with less precision than today, the various uses of a piece of property might still necessitate that a new survey be conducted.

Legal-Ease: Looking at land contracts

The financial crisis of the last several years has left many people with less than stellar credit. While we have quite a few flexible, community-based lenders in our area, the newest rules and regulations regarding lending may tie their hands and may prevent potential loans from being workable. Therefore sometimes potential buyers of homes cannot secure the proper financing in order to purchase a home. This is when a land contract may be a good solution for the home buyers and sellers.

Legal-Ease: Who pays what closing costs

Spring is often the busiest times for home sales and closings. As you go into your home sale, it’s good to know what is customary regarding the closing costs.

Federal law requires that the buyer of the home receive an estimate on closing costs (if they’re borrowing money for the purchase of the home) several days in advance of the closing.

Legal-Ease: How do I buy a new-to-me house?

Interested in buying a new home but not sure where to begin? Lee recommends that you start by talking to local banks and credit unions. Once you have an idea of your budget, consider more seriously looking into local real estate. Or you can consider hiring a real estate agent if you don’t want to investigate local homes on your own.